An Unprovoked Offensive



John Donne said that ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’  I’m assuming that he was also referring to women.  I may not be an island but I often feel as though I am inhabiting a sparsely populated one – a land whose only inhabitants are a war veteran, a ginger tom and a mad girl.  That’s Nobby, Ginger and me.  And the waters all around are shark infested and I have nothing invested in the world beyond these shores.  Sometimes I yearn to venture beyond this private universe but I fear that I will be swallowed by the overwhelming, ravenous ocean that is the world around us.  A world that refuses to accommodate difference, that glorifies homogeneity.

We sustain one another – Nobby, Ginger and I.  Disregarded and discarded.  None of us could survive without the others.  It is perhaps understandable that the world does not value me.  After all, what have I contributed?  Why though is society devoid of respect for someone like Nobby?  He is nearly ninety two, a man who has led a full and blameless and productive life.  He was one of the many who helped save our asses during World War Two.  Why should the world reject him?

Maybe I am only here to perpetuate his memories.  Maybe that is all I am and all I will ever be.  He is my dearest and truest friend.  My most faithful companion.  And Ginger the Cat completes the trio.  I have this crazy idea that Bella, the cat I lost just before Christmas ’07, and Freddi, the West Highland Terrier Nobby lost in January ’08, met after death and sent Ginger to act as a kind of guardian over us.  A feline angel.

Nobby wants to tell his stories while he still can.  This is his final goal.  My role is that of a mere scribe.  It has become my raison d’etre.  Only someone with a heart of granite would have a problem with that.

But there are outsiders amassing, dark clouds gathering. poised to tear apart this little island we have created for ourselves.  An unprovoked offensive.


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